Trying to locate a leak as soon as it happens can land you in a hospital. Going up on a roof that is covered with snow or slippery with rain (especially if the storm isn't over yet!) is definitely not recommended. There is no known quick-fix to any roofing problem, so attempting a temporary solution is not worth the danger. Take your time, be patient and wait for better weather that will allow you to complete the project safely.
2) Take necessary precautions
Roof repair work sometimes requires you to be in positions that are either uncomfortable or potentially unsafe. Wear a pair of rubber-soled shoes, as they help to prevent slipping, and strap on a safety harness as backup fall protection. It is also wise to have a friend on hand during the project.
3) Spray the roof
One way to locate a problem is to take the garden hose up to the roof and spray various locations to see where the water is not draining properly. However, this policy is only possible in summer; do not ever think of doing it during wintertime, as it is never safe to spray water on the roof in freezing temperatures.
4) Keep the gutters clean
The most common cause of a roof leak is a clogged gutter. A clogged gutter will always cause buildup of water whenever there is a reasonable amount of rainfall.
5) Avoid dry rot
This problem is not exactly related to water damage but rather due to shortage of ventilation. If the problem is right at the center of the roof, it is most likely due to deterioration of the plywood. If that is the case, the roof will begin to sag, the shingles will become brittle and crack, and the roof will eventually start to leak. To prevent dry rot, you need to install a ridge vent in conjunction with a soffit vent for proper air circulation.
During winter, ice can easily build up at the roof eaves under the gutters, shingles and roof membrane, forming what is called an "ice dam.." Any ice that melts above the dam (due to heat escaping from the interior of the home) cannot drain properly at the gutter and can find a pathway into the home in the form of a leak. To take care of this problem, you need to install a drip edge, along with ice and rain shields and proper ventilation.
7) Fix the roof boots
Skylights and other openings in the roof are obvious places for leaks, so rubber boots to protect the edges of the opening are a necessity. You can purchase a new set of roof boots at any hardware store.
8) Inspect the materials
Faulty installation of shingles and nails plays a big part in leaks. If the nails are pushed in too low, they will start pushing up. If the shingles are faulty, they will start to crack even if they are installed and nailed correctly. So definitely check your equipment before getting on the roof, and inspect your work before leaving.
9) Check valleys
The intersection where two sloped portions of the roof come together is called a "valley." Roof valleys are known to be very common places for leaks because water tends to accumulate in them if drainage is somehow prevented. Make sure to visually inspect all valleys from time to time.
10) Don't give up!
Still unable to locate the leaks even after trying for the umpteenth time? Do not get discouraged easily. Leak detection is, after all, a process of elimination which involves planning and loads of patience.
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Of course, sometimes you simply don't have the time or the health needed to take care of these problems on your own, especially since the roof can end up having more problems than you originally thought. But that's where we come in! We have a team of professionals that can help you with any home repair or home improvement you have in mind. Why not give us a call today?
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Clemmons, North Carolina 27012